The toddler had an unfortunate run in with a cement floor earlier this week and as a result, has a black and blue eye. As in, it looks like he’s been beaten up. Badly.
Yesterday I needed to run to the store for a few things, and brought the toddler with me.
That was mistake #1.
Every time I turned around, a new stranger was smiling at my child saying, “Oh my goodness! What happened to your eye?” I smiled back and explained the fall, trying my best not to look like a child abuser or neglectful parent.
In the meantime, the toddler was busy wreaking havoc in the produce section. First, he wanted to walk. Fine. Then he wanted to sit in the basket of the cart, which just never works out, so I said no.
That was mistake #2.
Have I mentioned that the toddler is two-and-a-half now?
You already know what happens next. The screaming and crying and full blown temper tantrum because he’s not getting what he wants. I calmly picked him up and wrestled him into the cart seat and strapped him in while strangers stopped to stare at the abusive mother in the produce aisle.
It was a proud moment.
I handled it the way any self-respecting mother would—I strapped him in and gave him a chocolate donut.
(I know, I know. This is not a good way to handle a temper tantrum. But we’re talking extenuating circumstances here.)
And what better way to ring in the New Year than with a reminder to not judge others? I rarely know the whole story of what’s really going on with someone else—or their kids.
Grace. If there’s one word to define my life for 2009, I pray that this is the one. We all need more of it.